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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 738093, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518484

ABSTRACT

Disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) led to significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. A systemic hyper-inflammation characterizes severe COVID-19 disease, often associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Blood biomarkers capable of risk stratification are of great importance in effective triage and critical care of severe COVID-19 patients. Flow cytometry and next-generation sequencing were done on peripheral blood cells and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), and cytokines were measured from and mass spectrometry-based proteomics was done on plasma samples from an Indian cohort of COVID-19 patients. Publicly available single-cell RNA sequencing data were analyzed for validation of primary data. Statistical analyses were performed to validate risk stratification. We report here higher plasma abundance of suPAR, expressed by an abnormally expanded myeloid cell population, in severe COVID-19 patients with ARDS. The plasma suPAR level was found to be linked to a characteristic plasma proteome, associated with coagulation disorders and complement activation. Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis to predict mortality identified a cutoff value of suPAR at 1,996.809 pg/ml (odds ratio: 2.9286, 95% confidence interval 1.0427-8.2257). Lower-than-cutoff suPAR levels were associated with a differential expression of the immune transcriptome as well as favorable clinical outcomes, in terms of both survival benefit (hazard ratio: 0.3615, 95% confidence interval 0.1433-0.912) and faster disease remission in our patient cohort. Thus, we identified suPAR as a key pathogenic circulating molecule linking systemic hyperinflammation to the hypercoagulable state and stratifying clinical outcomes in severe COVID-19 patients with ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Blood Coagulation Disorders/blood , Blood Coagulation Disorders/immunology , Blood Proteins/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Middle Aged , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Proteome/analysis , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 752612, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456293

ABSTRACT

Background: Lymphopenia and the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio may have prognostic value in COVID-19 severity. Objective: We investigated neutrophil subsets and functions in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) of COVID-19 patients on the basis of patients' clinical characteristics. Methods: We used a multiparametric cytometry profiling based to mature and immature neutrophil markers in 146 critical or severe COVID-19 patients. Results: The Discovery study (38 patients, first pandemic wave) showed that 80% of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients develop strong myelemia with CD10-CD64+ immature neutrophils (ImNs). Cellular profiling revealed three distinct neutrophil subsets expressing either the lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1), the interleukin-3 receptor alpha (CD123), or programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) overrepresented in ICU patients compared to non-ICU patients. The proportion of LOX-1- or CD123-expressing ImNs is positively correlated with clinical severity, cytokine storm (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, TNFα), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and thrombosis. BALs of patients with ARDS were highly enriched in LOX-1-expressing ImN subsets and in antimicrobial neutrophil factors. A validation study (118 patients, second pandemic wave) confirmed and strengthened the association of the proportion of ImN subsets with disease severity, invasive ventilation, and death. Only high proportions of LOX-1-expressing ImNs remained strongly associated with a high risk of severe thrombosis independently of the plasma antimicrobial neutrophil factors, suggesting an independent association of ImN markers with their functions. Conclusion: LOX-1-expressing ImNs may help identifying COVID-19 patients at high risk of severity and thrombosis complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Neutrophils/immunology , Scavenger Receptors, Class E/genetics , Thrombosis/etiology , Adult , Aged , B7-H1 Antigen/genetics , B7-H1 Antigen/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Interleukin-3 Receptor alpha Subunit/genetics , Interleukin-3 Receptor alpha Subunit/immunology , Interleukin-8/genetics , Interleukin-8/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Scavenger Receptors, Class E/immunology , Thrombosis/genetics , Thrombosis/immunology
4.
J Clin Invest ; 130(11): 6151-6157, 2020 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435146

ABSTRACT

Emerging data indicate that complement and neutrophils contribute to the maladaptive immune response that fuels hyperinflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy, thereby increasing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) mortality. Here, we investigated how complement interacts with the platelet/neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs)/thrombin axis, using COVID-19 specimens, cell-based inhibition studies, and NET/human aortic endothelial cell (HAEC) cocultures. Increased plasma levels of NETs, tissue factor (TF) activity, and sC5b-9 were detected in patients. Neutrophils of patients yielded high TF expression and released NETs carrying active TF. Treatment of control neutrophils with COVID-19 platelet-rich plasma generated TF-bearing NETs that induced thrombotic activity of HAECs. Thrombin or NETosis inhibition or C5aR1 blockade attenuated platelet-mediated NET-driven thrombogenicity. COVID-19 serum induced complement activation in vitro, consistent with high complement activity in clinical samples. Complement C3 inhibition with compstatin Cp40 disrupted TF expression in neutrophils. In conclusion, we provide a mechanistic basis for a pivotal role of complement and NETs in COVID-19 immunothrombosis. This study supports strategies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 that exploit complement or NETosis inhibition.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Complement Membrane Attack Complex , Coronavirus Infections , Extracellular Traps , Neutrophils , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Thromboplastin , Thrombosis , Aged , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Complement Activation/drug effects , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/immunology , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Peptides, Cyclic/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/blood , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombin/immunology , Thrombin/metabolism , Thromboplastin/immunology , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/virology
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5152, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376195

ABSTRACT

The immunological features that distinguish COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from other causes of ARDS are incompletely understood. Here, we report the results of comparative lower respiratory tract transcriptional profiling of tracheal aspirate from 52 critically ill patients with ARDS from COVID-19 or from other etiologies, as well as controls without ARDS. In contrast to a "cytokine storm," we observe reduced proinflammatory gene expression in COVID-19 ARDS when compared to ARDS due to other causes. COVID-19 ARDS is characterized by a dysregulated host response with increased PTEN signaling and elevated expression of genes with non-canonical roles in inflammation and immunity. In silico analysis of gene expression identifies several candidate drugs that may modulate gene expression in COVID-19 ARDS, including dexamethasone and granulocyte colony stimulating factor. Compared to ARDS due to other types of viral pneumonia, COVID-19 is characterized by impaired interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression. The relationship between SARS-CoV-2 viral load and expression of ISGs is decoupled in patients with COVID-19 ARDS when compared to patients with mild COVID-19. In summary, assessment of host gene expression in the lower airways of patients reveals distinct immunological features of COVID-19 ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , RNA/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics , Trachea/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Analysis, RNA
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 726909, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359195

ABSTRACT

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely used in preclinical and clinical trials for various diseases and have shown great potential in the treatment of sepsis and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Inflammatory factors play vital roles in the pathogenesis of diseases. The interaction between inflammatory factors is extremely complex. Once the dynamics of inflammatory factors are unbalanced, inflammatory responses and cytokine storm syndrome develop, leading to disease exacerbation and even death. Stem cells have become ideal candidates for the treatment of such diseases due to their immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the mechanisms by which stem cells affect inflammation and immune regulation are still unclear. This article discusses the therapeutic mechanism and potential value of MSCs in the treatment of sepsis and the novel COVID-19, outlines how MSCs mediate innate and acquired immunity at both the cellular and molecular levels, and described the anti-inflammatory mechanisms and related molecular pathways. Finally, we review the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy in these two diseases at the preclinical and clinical levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Humans , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/prevention & control
7.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 565-574, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358458

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to significant morbidity and mortality. While most suffer from mild symptoms, some patients progress to severe disease with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and associated systemic hyperinflammation. METHODS: First, to characterize key cytokines and their dynamics in this hyperinflammatory condition, we assessed abundance and correlative expression of a panel of 48 cytokines in patients progressing to ARDS as compared to patients with mild disease. Then, in an ongoing randomized controlled trial of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT), we analyzed rapid effects of CPT on the systemic cytokine dynamics as a correlate for the level of hypoxia experienced by the patients. RESULTS: We identified an anti-inflammatory role of CPT independent of its neutralizing antibody content. CONCLUSIONS: Neutralizing antibodies, as well as reductions in circulating interleukin-6 and interferon-γ-inducible protein 10, contributed to marked rapid reductions in hypoxia in response to CPT. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY OF INDIA: CTRI/2020/05/025209. http://www.ctri.nic.in/.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Plasma , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load
8.
Nat Rev Immunol ; 21(11): 694-703, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349668

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), results in life-threatening disease in a minority of patients, especially elderly people and those with co-morbidities such as obesity and diabetes. Severe disease is characterized by dysregulated cytokine release, pneumonia and acute lung injury, which can rapidly progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation, multisystem failure and death. However, a mechanistic understanding of COVID-19 progression remains unclear. Here we review evidence that SARS-CoV-2 directly or indirectly activates inflammasomes, which are large multiprotein assemblies that are broadly responsive to pathogen-associated and stress-associated cellular insults, leading to secretion of the pleiotropic IL-1 family cytokines (IL-1ß and IL-18), and pyroptosis, an inflammatory form of cell death. We further discuss potential mechanisms of inflammasome activation and clinical efforts currently under way to suppress inflammation to prevent or ameliorate severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Inflammasomes/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Phosphate-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Pyroptosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Severity of Illness Index
9.
J Infect Dis ; 224(3): 395-406, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) clinical expression is pleiomorphic, severity is related to age and comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, and pathophysiology involves aberrant immune activation and lymphopenia. We wondered if the myeloid compartment was affected during COVID-19 and if monocytes and macrophages could be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: Monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from COVID-19 patients and controls were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and extensively investigated with immunofluorescence, viral RNA extraction and quantification, and total RNA extraction followed by reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction using specific primers, supernatant cytokines (interleukins 6, 10, and 1ß; interferon-ß; transforming growth factor-ß1, and tumor necrosis factor-α), and flow cytometry. The effect of M1- vs M2-type or no polarization prior to infection was assessed. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 efficiently infected monocytes and MDMs, but their infection is abortive. Infection was associated with immunoregulatory cytokines secretion and the induction of a macrophagic specific transcriptional program characterized by the upregulation of M2-type molecules. In vitro polarization did not account for permissivity to SARS-CoV-2, since M1- and M2-type MDMs were similarly infected. In COVID-19 patients, monocytes exhibited lower counts affecting all subsets, decreased expression of HLA-DR, and increased expression of CD163, irrespective of severity. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 drives monocytes and macrophages to induce host immunoparalysis for the benefit of COVID-19 progression.SARS-CoV-2 infection of macrophages induces a specific M2 transcriptional program. In Covid-19 patients, monocyte subsets were decreased associated with up-expression of the immunoregulatory molecule CD163 suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 drives immune system for the benefit of Covid-19 disease progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Macrophages/virology , Monocytes/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Flow Cytometry , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
10.
J Clin Invest ; 131(14)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311200

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is among the most important public health crises of our generation. Despite the promise of prevention offered by effective vaccines, patients with severe COVID-19 will continue to populate hospitals and intensive care units for the foreseeable future. The most common clinical presentation of severe COVID-19 is hypoxemia and respiratory failure, typical of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Whether the clinical features and pathobiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia differ from those of pneumonia secondary to other pathogens is unclear. This uncertainty has created variability in the application of historically proven therapies for ARDS to patients with COVID-19. We review the available literature and find many similarities between patients with ARDS from pneumonia attributable to SARS-CoV-2 versus other respiratory pathogens. A notable exception is the long duration of illness among patients with COVID-19, which could result from its unique pathobiology. Available data support the use of care pathways and therapies proven effective for patients with ARDS, while pointing to unique features that might be therapeutically targeted for patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Autopsy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/immunology , Macrophages, Alveolar/virology , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Receptors, Virus/physiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index
11.
Genes Immun ; 22(3): 141-160, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275909

ABSTRACT

When surveying the current literature on COVID-19, the "cytokine storm" is considered to be pathogenetically involved in its severe outcomes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and eventually multiple organ failure. In this review, the similar role of DAMPs is addressed, that is, of those molecules, which operate upstream of the inflammatory pathway by activating those cells, which ultimately release the cytokines. Given the still limited reports on their role in COVID-19, the emerging topic is extended to respiratory viral infections with focus on influenza. At first, a brief introduction is given on the function of various classes of activating DAMPs and counterbalancing suppressing DAMPs (SAMPs) in initiating controlled inflammation-promoting and inflammation-resolving defense responses upon infectious and sterile insults. It is stressed that the excessive emission of DAMPs upon severe injury uncovers their fateful property in triggering dysregulated life-threatening hyperinflammatory responses. Such a scenario may happen when the viral load is too high, for example, in the respiratory tract, "forcing" many virus-infected host cells to decide to commit "suicidal" regulated cell death (e.g., necroptosis, pyroptosis) associated with release of large amounts of DAMPs: an important topic of this review. Ironically, although the aim of this "suicidal" cell death is to save and restore organismal homeostasis, the intrinsic release of excessive amounts of DAMPs leads to those dysregulated hyperinflammatory responses-as typically involved in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome and systemic inflammatory response syndrome in respiratory viral infections. Consequently, as briefly outlined in this review, these molecules can be considered valuable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to monitor and evaluate the course of the viral disorder, in particular, to grasp the eventual transition precociously from a controlled defense response as observed in mild/moderate cases to a dysregulated life-threatening hyperinflammatory response as seen, for example, in severe/fatal COVID-19. Moreover, the pathogenetic involvement of these molecules qualifies them as relevant future therapeutic targets to prevent severe/ fatal outcomes. Finally, a theory is presented proposing that the superimposition of coronavirus-induced DAMPs with non-virus-induced DAMPs from other origins such as air pollution or high age may contribute to severe and fatal courses of coronavirus pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Alarmins/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Models, Immunological , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Diseases/complications , Virus Diseases/metabolism
12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 651545, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278391

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is an acute, complex disorder that was caused by a new ß-coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Based on current reports, it was surprising that the characteristics of many patients with COVID-19, who fulfil the Berlin criteria for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), are not always like those of patients with typical ARDS and can change over time. While the mechanisms of COVID-19-related respiratory dysfunction in COVID-19 have not yet been fully elucidated, pulmonary microvascular thrombosis is speculated to be involved. Considering that thrombosis is highly related to other inflammatory lung diseases, immunothrombosis, a two-way process that links coagulation and inflammation, seems to be involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19, including respiratory dysfunction. Thus, the current manuscript will describe the proinflammatory milieu in COVID-19, summarize current evidence of thrombosis in COVID-19, and discuss possible interactions between these two.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Thrombosis/virology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/pathology
13.
Front Immunol ; 12: 682871, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247869

ABSTRACT

Macrophages are cells that mediate both innate and adaptive immunity reactions, playing a major role in both physiological and pathological processes. Systemic SARS-CoV-2-associated complications include acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, edema, and pneumonia. These are predominantly effects of massive macrophage activation that collectively can be defined as macrophage activation syndrome. In this review we focus on the role of macrophages in COVID-19, as pathogenesis of the new coronavirus infection, especially in cases complicated by ARDS, largely depends on macrophage phenotypes and functionalities. We describe participation of monocytes, monocyte-derived and resident lung macrophages in SARS-CoV-2-associated ARDS and discuss possible utility of cell therapies for its treatment, notably the use of reprogrammed macrophages with stable pro- or anti-inflammatory phenotypes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Macrophages/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy , Humans , Inflammation , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Macrophage Activation , Macrophages/transplantation , Macrophages, Alveolar/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 664209, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247863

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Systemic activation of procoagulant and inflammatory mechanisms has been implicated in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Knowledge of activation of these host response pathways in the lung compartment of COVID-19 patients is limited. Objectives: To evaluate local and systemic activation of coagulation and interconnected inflammatory responses in critically ill COVID-19 patients with persistent acute respiratory distress syndrome. Methods: Paired bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and plasma samples were obtained from 17 patients with COVID-19 related persistent acute respiratory distress syndrome (mechanical ventilation > 7 days) 1 and 2 weeks after start mechanical ventilation and compared with 8 healthy controls. Thirty-four host response biomarkers stratified into five functional domains (coagulation, complement system, cytokines, chemokines and growth factors) were measured. Measurements and Main Results: In all patients, all functional domains were activated, especially in the bronchoalveolar compartment, with significantly increased levels of D-dimers, thrombin-antithrombin complexes, soluble tissue factor, C1-inhibitor antigen and activity levels, tissue type plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor type I, soluble CD40 ligand and soluble P-selectin (coagulation), next to activation of C3bc and C4bc (complement) and multiple interrelated cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. In 10 patients in whom follow-up samples were obtained between 3 and 4 weeks after start mechanical ventilation many bronchoalveolar and plasma host response biomarkers had declined. Conclusions: Critically ill, ventilated patients with COVID-19 show strong responses relating to coagulation, the complement system, cytokines, chemokines and growth factors in the bronchoalveolar compartment. These results suggest a local pulmonary rather than a systemic procoagulant and inflammatory "storm" in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Critical Illness , Lung/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Aged , Blood Coagulation , Cohort Studies , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial
15.
JCI Insight ; 6(9)2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228934

ABSTRACT

SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel viral pathogen that causes a clinical disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although most COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic or involve mild upper respiratory tract symptoms, a significant number of patients develop severe or critical disease. Patients with severe COVID-19 commonly present with viral pneumonia that may progress to life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Patients with COVID-19 are also predisposed to venous and arterial thromboses that are associated with a poorer prognosis. The present study identified the emergence of a low-density inflammatory neutrophil (LDN) population expressing intermediate levels of CD16 (CD16Int) in patients with COVID-19. These cells demonstrated proinflammatory gene signatures, activated platelets, spontaneously formed neutrophil extracellular traps, and enhanced phagocytic capacity and cytokine production. Strikingly, CD16Int neutrophils were also the major immune cells within the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, exhibiting increased CXCR3 but loss of CD44 and CD38 expression. The percentage of circulating CD16Int LDNs was associated with D-dimer, ferritin, and systemic IL-6 and TNF-α levels and changed over time with altered disease status. Our data suggest that the CD16Int LDN subset contributes to COVID-19-associated coagulopathy, systemic inflammation, and ARDS. The frequency of that LDN subset in the circulation could serve as an adjunct clinical marker to monitor disease status and progression.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders/blood , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Coagulation Disorders/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Female , GPI-Linked Proteins/blood , Hospitalization , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/classification , Pandemics , Phagocytosis , Platelet Activation , Receptors, IgG/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
16.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251587, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226901

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: During the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing has been suggested for (1) screening populations for disease prevalence, (2) diagnostics, and (3) guiding therapeutic applications. Here, we conducted a detailed clinical evaluation of four Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays in samples from acutely ill COVID-19 patients and in two negative cohorts. METHODS: 443 serum specimens from serial sampling of 29 COVID-19 patients were used to determine clinical sensitivities. Patients were stratified for the presence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Individual serum specimens from a pre-COVID-19 cohort of 238 healthy subjects and from a PCR-negative clinical cohort of 257 patients were used to determine clinical specificities. All samples were measured side-by-side with the Anti-SARS-CoV-2-ELISA (IgG), Anti-SARS-CoV-2-ELISA (IgA) and Anti-SARS-CoV-2-NCP-ELISA (IgG) (Euroimmun AG, Lübeck, Germany) and the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 ECLIA (Roche Diagnostics International, Rotkreuz, Switzerland). RESULTS: Median seroconversion occurred earlier in ARDS patients (8-9 days) than in non-ARDS patients (11-17 days), except for EUR N-IgG. Rates of positivity and mean signal ratios in the ARDS group were significantly higher than in the non-ARDS group. Sensitivities between the four tested immunoassays were equivalent. In the set of negative samples, the specificity of the Anti-SARS-CoV-2-ELISA (IgA) was lower (93.9%) compared to all other assays (≥98.8%) and the specificity of Anti-SARS-CoV-2-NCP-ELISA (IgG) was lower (98.8%) than that of Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 (100%). CONCLUSIONS: Serial sampling in COVID-19 patients revealed earlier seroconversion and higher signal ratios of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies as a potential risk marker for the development of ARDS, suggesting a utility for antibody testing in acutely diseased patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroconversion , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 2243-2251, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217376

ABSTRACT

The role of immunosuppression among coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has not been elucidated and management may be challenging. This observational study included confirmed COVID-19 patients. The primary endpoint was the development of moderate-severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Time to moderate-severe ARDS, the need for mechanical or noninvasive ventilation (MV/NIV), death, and a composite of death or MV/NIV were secondary endpoints. Of 138 patients included, 27 (19.6%) were immunosuppressed (IS) and 95 (68.8%) were male, with a median (IQR) age of 68 (54-78) years. A significantly lower proportion of IS patients (25.9%) compared to non-IS patients (52.3%) developed moderate-severe ARDS, in both unadjusted (0.32; 95% CI, 0.13-0.83; p = .017) and adjusted (aOR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.08-0.80; p = .019) analyses. After stratifying by pathologies, only IS patients with autoimmune diseases remained significant (aOR 0.25; 95% CI, 0.07-0.98; p = .046). Nonsignificant trends toward a longer time to moderate or severe ARDS, a lower need for MV/NIV, and a lower risk of death or MV/NIV were detected among IS. In our cohort of COVID-19 patients, nonsevere immunosuppression was associated with a lower risk of moderate-severe ARDS, especially among AD. This suggests a potential protective effect from a hypothesized hyper-inflammatory response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Coinfection , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunosuppression , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Spain/epidemiology
18.
Anesthesiology ; 134(5): 792-808, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202432

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is characterized by hypoxemia, altered alveolar-capillary permeability, and neutrophil-dominated inflammatory pulmonary edema. Despite decades of research, an effective drug therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome remains elusive. The ideal pharmacotherapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome should demonstrate antiprotease activity and target injurious inflammatory pathways while maintaining host defense against infection. Furthermore, a drug with a reputable safety profile, low possibility of off-target effects, and well-known pharmacokinetics would be desirable. The endogenous 52-kd serine protease α1-antitrypsin has the potential to be a novel treatment option for acute respiratory distress syndrome. The main function of α1-antitrypsin is as an antiprotease, targeting neutrophil elastase in particular. However, studies have also highlighted the role of α1-antitrypsin in the modulation of inflammation and bacterial clearance. In light of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the identification of a treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome is even more pertinent, and α1-antitrypsin has been implicated in the inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Neutrophils/drug effects , Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory/administration & dosage , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Factors/administration & dosage , Immunologic Factors/immunology , Lung/drug effects , Lung/enzymology , Lung/immunology , Neutrophils/enzymology , Neutrophils/immunology , Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/enzymology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/immunology
19.
Cells ; 10(4)2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186898

ABSTRACT

Macrophages play an important role in the innate and adaptive immune responses of organ systems, including the lungs, to particles and pathogens. Cumulative results show that macrophages contribute to the development and progression of acute or chronic inflammatory responses through the secretion of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and the activation of transcription factors in the pathogenesis of inflammatory lung diseases, such as acute lung injury (ALI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), ARDS related to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)), allergic asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This review summarizes the functions of macrophages and their associated underlying mechanisms in the development of ALI, ARDS, COVID-19-related ARDS, allergic asthma, COPD, and IPF and briefly introduces the acute and chronic experimental animal models. Thus, this review suggests an effective therapeutic approach that focuses on the regulation of macrophage function in the context of inflammatory lung diseases.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Macrophages/pathology , Pneumonia/pathology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Acute Lung Injury/immunology , Animals , Asthma/immunology , Asthma/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , Chronic Disease , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/immunology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Macrophages/immunology , Pneumonia/immunology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
20.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 140, 2021 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181117

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the onset of the pandemic, only few studies focused on longitudinal immune monitoring in critically ill COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) whereas their hospital stay may last for several weeks. Consequently, the question of whether immune parameters may drive or associate with delayed unfavorable outcome in these critically ill patients remains unsolved. METHODS: We present a dynamic description of immuno-inflammatory derangements in 64 critically ill COVID-19 patients including plasma IFNα2 levels and IFN-stimulated genes (ISG) score measurements. RESULTS: ARDS patients presented with persistently decreased lymphocyte count and mHLA-DR expression and increased cytokine levels. Type-I IFN response was initially induced with elevation of IFNα2 levels and ISG score followed by a rapid decrease over time. Survivors and non-survivors presented with apparent common immune responses over the first 3 weeks after ICU admission mixing gradual return to normal values of cellular markers and progressive decrease of cytokines levels including IFNα2. Only plasma TNF-α presented with a slow increase over time and higher values in non-survivors compared with survivors. This paralleled with an extremely high occurrence of secondary infections in COVID-19 patients with ARDS. CONCLUSIONS: Occurrence of ARDS in response to SARS-CoV2 infection appears to be strongly associated with the intensity of immune alterations upon ICU admission of COVID-19 patients. In these critically ill patients, immune profile presents with similarities with the delayed step of immunosuppression described in bacterial sepsis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Critical Illness , Intensive Care Units/trends , Interferon-alpha/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Immunity/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology
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